Being thankful for what we have is a challenge when our culture inundates us with advertisements of shiny new cars and newest edition iPhone, name brand fashions, and home interior upgrades. Messages that what we have is not enough shift into the massage that we are not enough. So being thankful takes purposeful effort; it is truly going against the grain.
As Lynne Twist writes, “For me and many of us our first waking thought is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is, “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. …And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds race with the litany of what we did or didn’t get done that day…We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mindset of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. …Sufficiency isn’t an amount…it is an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances.” (The Soul of Money, pg. 75)
Ps. 23 opens with the promise of sufficiency, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” (NLT vs.1) What apparent scarcity plagues you amid our global pandemic? What would it be like to wake up with your first thought being, today the Lord will provide what I need in my parenting, in my bank account, in my health and energy, you fill in the blank?
According to Brené Brown’s research, people who describe themselves as joyful practice gratitude (The Gifts of Imperfection). For years now, one of my favorite monthly rituals is to reflect on what I am grateful for. I find a quiet place and write 30 things that I am thankful for in groups of 10. The list ranges from a good cup a coffee to having a job that I love to being a Mom to my son, John. What I find is that my tendency toward comparison and self-pity quickly fade as I focus on God’s gracious gifts. This simple exercise also strengthens my faith as it lifts my eyes from my wants and desires to a God whose values are eternal. It helps bring me back to embracing sufficiency in all the ways God provides.
It is my prayer that during this season, you and I will more fully experience “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” As we soak in this promise, our renewed perspective will likely clear the way to look toward others who may have needs that we can meet. Serving others with what God has graciously provided for us is another way to live the value that sufficiency isn’t an amount but rather a mindset.
However, you spend the Thanksgiving holiday, may you know the Village Schools of the Bible community is grateful that you are a part of us! Happy Thanksgiving!